Elon Musk's Real Product and How to Outsell Him
You write beautifully! What musk is selling isnt fantasy at all. He, along with a few other tech giants, as well as a few autocrats, want to end democracy. Their "dream" is to crash the US financial system & replace it with crypto that they will hold the majority of, but that is sold as independent. It turns out Putin, China, & the Saudi's would like the order of who has the most power to change so that it is no longer the US in the lead. They want a multi-polar set-up where the most powerful is no longer 1 nation, but several....all lead by autocrats/dictatorships. I know it sounds extremely conspiratorial, and I suppose it is until such time some part of it at least would happen. Keep your eye on the gop & the debt ceiling next month. A journalist & disinformation researcher by the name of Dave Troy (you can read much about this on his twitter page), has been following this for a while now.
If I could 'like' this thoughtful post a hundred times I would. You've articulated the essence of what so many feel & desire, that being the need for community guided by principals of integrity, empathy & shared resources. There was a time when we saw more of this, however imperfect. We saw the pandemic drive more folks into isolation, further fractioning our sense of belonging, as well as our trust in the politically-challenged institutions meant to protect us. We need to use our platforms to elevate altruistic leaders so people can join together in manifesting a better world. Realistically, that's a tough battle. Calling out our need for spirit is a call for humanity. We may not be inclined to name that spirit 'God' given how tainted that concept has become through the extremist/authoritarian Christian factions hell-bent on controlling the lives of just about everyone. Perhaps Bob Marley was on to something when he sang about "One Love".
Excited for Earthseed content!!
If you grew up around cons like the Southern Baptist Convention you wouldn't so lightly speak of introducing a religious angle to the left; be careful what you wish for. A lot of my further-back ancestors were Quakers, they resisted being compelled to support the UK Crown by a passive resistance that spread as the 17th century went on. Needless to say most had to flee the UK to North America to avoid jail for failure to pay tithes, etc. - render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, render unto God what is God's. They were right that praying in public won't convince anyone not already on your side and at best looks self-righteous. But hey, that's just my baggage........ and Musk is a dangerous nut.
Thank you for this piece - it’s given me much to think about. Butler’s Parable series does give much food for thought, and I’m thrilled to see the ripples her work continues to make. (Kindred coming soon to TV!)
I do worry about the “religious” aspect. There’s a great (very long) philosophy book called THIS LIFe by Martin Hägglund that gets at some of my concerns. His thesis is that religion has a focus on the next ... the unending. That for civil society to work we need to focus more on what might be lost if we fail to act.
For the American right, connected to Christian Evangelical death cult, the prosperity gospel ... the goal is to accumulate and the future doesn’t matter because the end days are near. Right?
So ... how do we relearn a spirituality for civic life that isn’t tied to religion. Hägglund talked about secular faith and a spiritual freedom. “The object of secular faith--e.g., the life we are trying to lead, the institutions we are trying to build, the community we are trying to achieve--is inseparable from what we do and how we do it.” Hägglund goes on to say, “The object of religious faith, by contrast, is taken to be independent of the fidelity of finite beings.”
To have a secular faith (whether in concert with a religious faith or not) is the condition of freedom. This ideal is tied up with notions of freedom as well - re we free because we are not constrained - or are we free when we can choose what we ought to do with our time? In which case - none of us are free. Even mushypoo is tied to the ideals of constant growth, power accumulation, etc.
What might we achieve if we unlearn the religion and governance duality? So - yeah, now I’m back to Butler and imagining ourselves into the story, imagining what we could do if we have the freedom to do it - and how presence can be at the center.
Thank you for this journey!
Great piece, really appreciate the importance given to the left having counter-visions, emotional alternatives, to the right's alluring myths. The fight won't ever be won just with facts.
Great read, thanks so much! There is something really compelling in your writing.
May I recommend you my favourite rapper's latest collection of essays? It's "On Connection", by Kae Tempest, and they have an idea of God that I think you might find interesting, perhaps even useful to help you articulate what no doubt will be a great thread (lol still on twitter, are we?) - a great series of articles on Earthseed. Thanks for adding to my pile of to-reads btw. Oh, and they also had an interview with Flea, from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, that I found very moving.
And I would like to, very humbly, also try and add something. I think there's a lot to explore on this "sell the idea, for free". Selling but for free? Do we need to sell it? How, if it's free? Like Bruce said, it might look elf-righteous to propose such an approach. And I think we are addicted enough to buying that free things don't wuite hit the spot in the same way, we wouldn't appreciate.
I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly what it is but I think there is something about the way religion is organised, how shopping and then notifications replaced the dopamine hit, and religion's role in society hasn't changed. Maybe something should change about how religion is sold (marketed?). Marketing has really screwed our brains and got us addicted to consuming without processing, so I really appreciate your articles, it's a much needed break of the too fast pace.
Fellow lefty Jew here. This is a nice post and I admire the earnest, thoughtful approach - the turn toward theorizing constructively at the end. I've read some of Butler and loved it but need to check out Parable of the Sower.
I do wonder though - are you not overstepping a bit by dismissing Musk's work as "mediocre," and by calling the right-wing figures he's cozing up to as "fascists" (right wing, absolutely).? I think this is where we lose people, including, obviously, many working class people. A lot of people like Teslas, they seem to be genuinely good cars, at least in some aspects, and credible people say that much of what Tesla has done so far - forcing larger companies to the electric car market by getting there first, proving they can be produced and sold at scale - has been due to Musk's drive (pun intended). SpaceX has developed reusable rockets that work. That seems significant. Obviously there are large elements of deception and salesmanship to Tesla's success and to his other projects - that's capitalism and it sucks, it should change. Obviously there's bad anti-union stuff. Obviously cars and rockets will not solve, and probably will not reduce, human suffering. Nonetheless, they are technological advancements that excite people and change what may be possible. When left figures dismiss *everything* about someone or a group of people on the basis of *some things,* I think we run into trouble. Or when we apply over-broad labels. And it will be difficult to generate a high-ground claim to an expansive, inclusive moral and spiritual vision with legitimacy if the left continues to write so many people off so easily.
It was a pretty good article until you bought religion into it.
Do you not realise the reason Americans were so easily led into this current cesspool is because they already have a 'conditioned cult mind' due to America being the religious cult of the world.
I would suggest you watch the documentary , "People You May Know" which really brings the evidence to the table.
You want to know how organised this all is....all they had to do was tune into those 'seeking a leader' which is most religious people.
Many who are fighting and can see this picture clearly don't believe in Christianity.
It’s very refreshing to read about an article that provides hope and essence. Eager to hear more about the ways we can combat the “conman.” ☺️
I wish people in USA wook look outwards sometimes, atleleast to learn from other countries. There are rarely any effort to bring the left and right together to collaborate, like in this article. Everyone seems to think Elon is bad in any way or the other (except the boot lickers) but what about the "people" of USA? Aren't you ALL in the states AMERICANS? Who even choose a side? I know I don't have to, even if my vote in my country is always leaning politically in some way. The next election I might choose the other side, but for me the most important part is that EVERYONE here gets a better life, helping eathother instead of fighting.
Who has done more to bring us closer to a "green Earth" than Elon Musk?